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'American Idol' ratings soar in series finale

"American Idol" went out big Thursday night.

About 13.3 million viewers tuned into the finale of the long-running singing competition series, which saw Trent Harmon crowned the 15th and final "Idol" in a surprise victory over fellow Mississippian La'Porsha Renae. "American Idol" was the most-watched show of the night among viewers under 50, according to Nielsen.

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The ratings numbers pale in comparison with those of "American Idol" at its peak a decade ago, when it regularly drew 30 million or more viewers, but they still represent a significant uptick for the faded franchise. Thursday's star-studded episode was the most-watched TV finale in three years and the most-watched telecast of the show in more than two years.

Fox pulled out all the stops for the two-hour swan song, which was broadcast from the Dolby Theatre. The finale included performances from winners, judges and favorite contestants over the years, an appearance by original cohost Brian Dunkleman and opening remarks from President Obama.

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